Moving to India
from Australia

Since 1969, OSS have provided complete global door to door moving services. That’s 50 years of specialist international moving, and over 200,000 moves.

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Indian Map

This ancient country is renowned for its rich culture and diversity. Many moving here will find it’s a feast for the senses in more ways than one.

Moving and Living in India

India occupies the greater part of South Asia, with the capital, New Delhi, located in the northern part of the country. With a population of 1.408 billion people, India has just become the most populous country in the world. Mumbai, the financial capital of India, is the most populated city with 12.5 million people.

Two climatic subtypes are prevalent in India. A tropical monsoon climate, particularly in the south which is prone to high humidity. The other, a tropical climate which brings both wet and dry weather conditions. The southern regions experience their mildest temperatures between January and September; whereas in the northeast, the months from March to August are more bearable.

India is often unseen as a family destination; however, the country is a wonderful place to raise a family. Many foreigners choose to send children to one of the excellent private or international schools present in every major city. Exploration around this great country and experiencing the many breathtaking sights, smells and tastes are also a fantastic family activity.

Moving To India - Locals
Moving To India - Mosque

English is a commonly spoken language, along with Hindi. Most people can understand English, more so in the south. However, in the North, English is less understood.

One of the biggest advantages of moving to India is the cost of living. Expats earning a local currency by working in skilled roles will live very comfortably. It is generally much cheaper than many other countries, making it an attractive choice. In addition, India offers a wide range of job opportunities for those interested in relocating there. There may be a challenge finding suitable housing, as there is a high demand for good quality accommodation. It is recommended you either seek the assistance from your employer or enlist the services of a reputable estate agent.

India’s healthcare system is well-developed and highly desirable. There are advanced technologies in all hospitals, as well as skilled members of staff who provide quality medical services that are reasonably priced. The cultural diversity of the country is amazing. Here you can experience both traditional and modern aspects of the culture, ranging from ancient monuments to vibrant festivals. There are plenty of locations to explore and activities to take part in, making India an ideal destination for those looking for a new lifestyle adventure.

Moving to India from Australia with OSS

At OSS World Wide Movers, our network of FIDI / FAIM accredited partners cover the whole of India.

Our partners in India are well versed in all aspects of the requirements for importation of personal and household goods.

This guarantees you a seamless, tailor made move to India, right through to your new home not only your personal effects and vehicles, but also for your much loved pets as well.

The cultural diversity of the country is amazing. Here you can experience both traditional and modern aspects of the culture, ranging from ancient monuments to vibrant festivals.

Moving your household goods to India

Household goods can be imported into India under Transfer of Residence or As Unaccompanied baggage.

Under transfer of residence (TR) goods can be imported at a concessional duty of 15% whereas under unaccompanied baggage the duty is 38.5%

Depending on minimum the time period stayed abroad by the passenger and fulfilment of conditions, various articles are allowed free of duty up to a specified limit.
a) 3-6 months: aggregate value of Rs.60,000
b) 6 months- l year: aggregate value of Rs.1,00,000
c) Minimum 1 year during preceding two years: aggregate value of Rs.1,00,000
d) Minimum stay of two years or more: up to a value of Rs. 5 lakhs.

As per the latest update to the Indian Baggage regulations, any person fulfilling the below requirements can claim Transfer of Residence concessions
• Minimum stay of two years abroad, immediately preceding the date of his arrival on TR,
• Total stay in India on short visit during the 2 preceding years should not exceeding 6 months, and
• Passenger who have not availed this concession in the preceding three years.

Foreign national or expats have the same duty concessions as a returning Non Resident Indian

No, Personal effects and house-hold goods like furniture, clothes, books, kitchenware, small appliances like mixer, juicer, iron etc. are allowed to be imported duty free if these goods are old and have been used by you. In addition, the below items in Annexure III can also be imported duty free.

Annexure III

1. Video Cassette Recorder or Video Cassette Player or Video Television Receiver or Video Cassette Disk Player.
2. Washing Machine.
3. Electrical Cooking Range
4. Personal Computer (Desktop Computer)
5. Laptop Computer (Notebook Computer)
6. Domestic Refrigerators of capacity up to 300 litres or its equivalent.

Under Transfer of residence the following items in Annexure II can be imported at reduced rate of duty which varies from 15% to 38.5%

Annexure II

1. Colour Television or Monochrome Television.
2. Digital Video Disc Player.
3. Video Home Theatre System
4. Dishwasher
5. Music System.
6. Air-Conditioner.
7. Domestic refrigerators of capacity above 300 litres or its equivalent.
8. Freezer.
9. Microwave Oven.
10. Video camera or the combination of any such video camera with one or more of the following goods, namely: –
a) Television Receiver;
b) Sound recording or reproducing apparatus;
c) Video reproducing apparatus.
11. Word Processing Machine.
12. Fax Machine.
13. Portable Photocopying Machine.
14. Vessel.
15. Aircraft.
16. Cinematographic films of 35 mm and above.
17. Gold or Silver, in any form, other than ornaments

No, under transfer of residence rules, duty is not levied on used personal effects and household goods which are more than 6 months old.

The Transfer of Residence concession is provided to a family as a whole. Individual members of a family cannot claim additional concessions.

No, the duty free allowance is available for consumption only at the time of arrival. It cannot be combined for any unaccompanied baggage shipments coming by air or Sea freight.

No, under the new baggage rules there is no such compulsions.

Yes, if you are a Foreign national – you can import foodstuff in the main household goods shipment duty free up to a limit of Rs. 50,000/= (Approx USD 650/=). Besides Foreign nationals who are resident in India can import foodstuff worth Rs. 1,00,000 Per Annum (Approx USD 1300). However, please note that Wine, spirits, beverages, etc. are not allowed duty free under this facility. It is also important that payment for the foodstuff must be made out of funds of the foreign national available outside India.

Yes, you can import wine, Alcohol & spirits, however, please note that the import duties on such items are very high – Approximately – 244%. We would also like you to note that it is not advisable to import liquor into India as most international brands of liquor are available in India at reasonable prices. However, If you must ship Wine or Liquor, please pack them separately and clearly mark them so it is easily identifiable. If you do not disclose them – it could lead to unnecessary problems with customs if found during physical examination.

Import of firearms is prohibited. Likewise, the import of Cartridges in excess of 50 is also prohibited. However, persons transferring their residence (subject to fulfilment of requisite conditions of Transfer of Residence) to India for a minimum period of one year are allowed to import one firearm of permissible bore subject to the conditions that:

(i) The firearm was in possession and used abroad by the passenger for a minimum period of one year.

(ii) The firearm, after clearance shall not be sold, loaned, transferred or parted with in any manner during the lifetime of the passenger.

(iii) The firearm will be allowed clearance under Transfer of Residence facility, on payment of applicable duty provided the passenger holds a valid arms license from the local authorities.

No, Satellite phone are not permitted to be imported except against a license to be issued by the WPC wing of Department of Telecommunications. Please refer for further details.

No, LCD /LED/ Plasma Televisions are not entitled for baggage allowance and will suffer baggage rate of duty on full value as determined.

Drones are allowed subject to the conditions that the importer should have licence issued by the WPC wing of Department of Telecommunications for importing the same mentioning proper name, model and specifications of the goods.

Well, mainly those things you might expect – antiques, drugs, weapons, ammunition, explosives, ivory, animal skins, sandalwood, pornography etc.

ATA Carnet is an international uniform Customs document issued in 75 countries including India, which are parties to the Customs Convention on ATA Carnet. The ATA Carnet permits duty free temporary admission of goods into a member country without the need to raise customs bond, payment of duty and fulfilment of other customs formalities in one or a number of foreign countries. In India, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), is appointed as the National Guaranteeing & Issuing Association for ATA Carnets.

Yes, Motor cars can be imported by paying customs duty @ 208% of the CIF value for both used and new cars. Motor Bikes can be imported by paying customs duty @ 85% of the CIF value for both used and new bikes. However, other rules & regulations apply, so please check with us prior to shipping.

Owner’s personal presence is generally a must as per government regulations. It is also advisable because you can see for yourself the condition in which the goods arrived and how the customs are examining your goods. In cases, if owner cannot be present due to exceptional circumstances like health condition / age / physically challenged / COVID restrictions etc. a power of attorney can be executed in favour of a friend, relative or us, provided completed customs forms should be duly signed and attested.

Many movers may not be fully aware of Indian customs regulations. Even if other movers have advised that you are not required to be personally present – that information is incorrect. As per the Indian Government Regulations – the shipper’s personal presence is a must at time of customs clearance. These days due to increased security threats to the nation, customs are very strict about these procedures.

Original Passport is a mandatory document and is required at every stage of import clearance. This starts from showing the passport to liners to collect delivery order, to filing documents at customs, to schedule inspection date etc. We will take care of the passport to ensure it is not lost.

We would have preferred that too, however, it is not always easy to do that. We cannot inform you the exact date of shipment’s arrival or the date of inspection for various reasons. These could be due to change in vessel schedule, delay due to port congestion, delay due to manifest filing / issuing of delivery order / customs holidays / lack of space in inspection yard / lack of customs officers to examine goods etc. Our partner can only start work after the liners issue the delivery order and make container / goods available to us for the inspection. Hence, we can inform you only a tentative date of cargo’s arrival / inspection. The exact date can be informed to you only after we file the documents at customs and in most cases this is at very short notice. There is also the constraint that liners and port authorities allow only 3 free days to clear the goods after which they charge detention and port storage fees.

Clearance of goods in India is complicated, time consuming and varies a lot depending upon the port, the no. of customs officers present, space available at the port, number of shipments at port etc. Hence an exact timeline cannot be given. However, below is the average time taken for the clearance. The actual can be less than or more than indicated below.

Activity FCL Shipments LCL Shipments
Unloading from vessel & Placement of container or de-stuffed goods in Customs bonded warehouse: Day 1, 2 & 3 Day 1 to 8
Customs Inspection and assessment of duty Day 4 Day 9
Payment of duty and release of goods Day 5 Day 10
Delivery in same city as POE & unpacking of goods Day 6 & 7 Day 11 & 12
Delivery in different city as POE: Add 2 to 3 days Add 2 to 10 days

Yes, generally all import consignments are physically inspected 100% as per Indian customs regulations. However, we find that in some cases if there is a proper packing list and if the goods randomly checked, tally with the packing list the customs officials do not check all goods but only open about 20 or 30%. If diplomatic shipment – then there is no physical examination.

Duty can be paid online directly by the shipper through customs website Ice-Gate, once the details are updated. Cash/DD is not accepted by the customs.

No, our partner will require all charges have to be paid in full prior to customs clearance of goods.

A shipping container is treated as a bonded item which is allowed into the country duty free since it will be shipped back. Hence the container must remain within the Port or Customs area. However, there are provisions to take the container to the residence provided necessary bank guarantee is given to the shipping line and prior approval is taken from customs. The common practice is to destuff the goods on to smaller vans for deliveries. This is also done because of the restrictions for movement of large vehicles in most Indian cities.

Generally, all full container load shipments are moved direct from port to client residence. When goods come out of port we will inform you about the delivery time. If you want delivery on a specific date and time, then we will move the goods to our warehouse and deliver to you as per your request. However, please note there will be additional charges towards warehouse handling, storage & redelivery.

Our normal service includes unpacking, assembly of simple furniture like cots and removal of packing debris only. For complicated assembly of furniture (those than require us to look at a drawing / that requires more than 10 minutes to assemble / that requires a professional carpenter), for putting up pictures, for electrical works etc. we can arrange handy man services at additional cost. For cleaning services and for putting goods into cupboards / shelves etc. we can arrange maid services at additional cost.

Import of pets (dogs or cats) up to two numbers per passenger is allowed as baggage, only to persons transferring their residence to India after two year of continuous stay abroad subject to production of required health certificate from country of origin and examination of the said pets by the animal quarantine officer without an import license issued by DGFT. Import of pets is allowed only at airports having animal quarantine facility, viz. at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Passengers can also re-import the pets which were being taken away with them as export with prior certification from the Animal Quarantine officer. For details please refer  and

Only certain plants and plant materials in Schedules V, VI and VII of the Plant Quarantine (Regulation of Import into India) Order, 2003 are allowed to be imported into India subject to conditions. Passengers should ensure that regulated plant species should be accompanied with a Phytosanitary certificate issued by an authorized officer at the country of origin. For details, please refer to

Used, bonafide personal and household effects belonging to a deceased person are allowed to be imported free of duty subject to the condition that a certificate from the concerned Indian Mission (Embassy/High Commission/Consulate) is produced at the time of clearance regarding the ownership of the goods by the deceased person.

Our partner will do their best to ensure your goods are cleared quickly and efficiently. However, sometimes things don’t go as planned. Hence, these are just a few tips to be mentally prepare yourself on what to expect when visiting Indian Ports for customs inspection.

The facilities at Indian ports (including toilets) are very basic.

Hence, kindly carry the following items

o Bottle of Water

o Light Snacks (in case you get hungry)

o Cap / Umbrella

o Sun protection cream

o A book to read

Dress Appropriately

o The ports can be hot and humid with limited shade at the inspection area.

o It is also advisable for women to dress appropriately as the ports are mostly labour who are male.

Questions by Customs Officers

o Customs officers will ask you questions related to the import of your goods. Some of these may include, reason for coming to India, employer details, value of your goods etc.

Plenty of patience

o One has to be really patient as the customs inspection process can take anywhere from couple of hours to entire day depending upon various factors beyond control our partners, like number of shipments in the queue for examination on the day of your visit, availability of customs officers, emergency meetings of customs officers, IT system failures, availability of data entry personnel etc.

DISCLAIMER: Although we have tried to make the above information as accurate as possible, this information may have changed. Hence OSS World Wide Movers accepts no responsibility for any loss or inconvenience sustained by any person resulting from information given above. OSS World Wide Movers encourages you to verify any critical information with the relevant authorities before you book the consignment.

Visa and Immigration Information

When travelling or moving to the India, make sure your passport and visas are correct and valid. Check these links to find out some of the latest requirements.

Consulate / Embassy in Australia

Contact the Consulate General of India at 265 Castlereagh St, Sydney NSW 2000 or follow this link to the Consulate General of India website: 

Visa Information

General visa information and processing information can be found here:

Passport Information

General passport information can be found here:

Immigration Information

Follow this link for immigration information and related services:

Citizenship Information

A guide to citizenship: